Elizabeth Darcy, Nordic Market Advisor, Bord Bia – Irish Food Board
Discounter Lidl is making its mark within the Swedish retail landscape and has big plans to continue this upward trend. Although Lidl’s current chunk of the retail market is relatively small at 3.6% (IGD, 2018), it is not to be underestimated. According to the same report from IGD Retail Analysis, Lidl are one of the fastest growing retailers of the future in Sweden with grocery sales expected to reach 11,264 SEKm in 2018. So what is Lidl doing so well that is winning over the shopping baskets of the Swedish consumer? Here are three key learnings that are proving successful with Swedes.
Lidl place great emphasis on sustainability for which permeates throughout their entire business unit. It is also key to their decision making process from assortment, logistics, construction right through to their personnel policy. According to Lidl, “Swedish consumers weigh in sustainability issues in their purchasing decisions”. Therefore, in order for future growth, Lidl must take these issues seriously (full report). We are seeing the meaning of this translate into store through their range of locally sourced products, particularly in fresh food categories and also expansion of their organic range. The share of organic food increased during the year, particularly in fruit and vegetables, with 17% of the assortment carrying organic certification. Lidl aims to increase organic food sales through various themed promotional campaigns such as Eco Week, taking place this week. Organic status will be one of the most important strategies in the coming years for Lidl, whereby making organic food more accessible for consumers.
Innovation from around the world
Lidl Sweden showcase their ability to bring international tastes and specialities from around the world right to the Swedish doorstep. They execute this brilliantly by complementing their standard range, with exciting flavours and product innovations from around the world such as Asia, Italy, Germany, and Mexico. Lidl Sweden lean on the expert knowledge of their colleagues in other Lidl countries to buy selected delicacies they can offer under their own brands such as Vitasia, McKennedy and El Tequito. Last week saw the “taste Asia” promotional campaign. In some instances, products run during these campaigns have now become part of Lidl’s standard range such as their Italian meats range.
Euromonitor International reports the flexitarian trend is here to stay (Euromonitor: Packaged Food in Sweden Dec 2017). Lidl are also supporting the movement which is forming part of the wider vego-vegetarian lifestyle trend in Sweden. Their support and solution to the trend is twofold. Firstly, by having a range of vegetarian options under their in-house brand “My Best Veggie” and secondly, they have strategically positioned these products beside the fresh meat sections in store. Adopting the same approach as other Swedish retailers such as Hemköp. This really demonstrates Lidl’s forward thinking approach in creating an environment of choice to enable consumer’s decision to flex.
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